Fire alarms. Smart meters. CCTV cameras, boilers, thermostats, even washing machines – all of these devices have one thing in common: the Internet of Things, which connects devices so that they can be monitored, controlled and accessed remotely via apps.
Intamac is Europe’s largest provider of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, having connected in excess of 500,000 devices to date. But this is just the beginning for this 55-person Northampton-based business.
The company was set up 14 years ago, and Intamac has been refining its technology and products ever since. Today, it counts dozens of telecommunication and utility companies across the world among its clients, including Scottish Power, Belgacom, Securitas, and many others.
Chief executive of the company David Perez says Intamac’s success and innovation is thanks in part to having benefited from schemes such as R&D tax credits, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
“R&D tax credits have been very straightforward to us and in times of need, it’s been a very big help, allowing us to keep innovating – this is key in a nascent market,” he explains.
Intamac has benefited from R&D tax credits every year since 2002.
“Without the tax credits, we wouldn’t have been able to refine our offerings as much as we have. It isn’t just about the money, but more about allowing us to move our products forward. It has served as a very big step for us.”
Enabling the connected home
Intamac provides a full end-to-end solution for IoT products: from the cloud and embedded software to hardware, enterprise portals and smartphone apps.
For its big-name clients, the value is that the companies can access performance data in real time, rather than having to do reactive maintenance on any issues that occur. These preventative upgrades can save companies substantial amounts of money, improve customer service and connected devices are building a new market among consumers.
“We have a lot of heritage and expertise to provide a one-stop shop solution for traditional manufacturers who are seeing new competitive products from new entrants,” says Perez. “All of these new gadgets have been a catalyst for the traditional OEMs to offer new functionality.”
This demand for connected home devices has helped Intamac to grow. The company recently won important contracts with Australian CCTV giant Swann Communications, as well as smoke and CO2 alarm manufacturer Sprue Aegis. The latter’s brands include First Alert and FireAngel, shipping six million units a year, which will soon be connected by Intamac technology.
Attracting high-quality investors
The Enterprise Investment Scheme has been another important factor in Intamac’s success story, particularly in the beginning.
Taking part in the Enterprise Investment Scheme has helped the company to attract a large number of high-net worth individuals and investors which, says Perez, has been “absolutely key” to success.
Today, YFM Equity Partners, Octopus Ventures, Seraphim Capital, Carbon Trust and Catapult Ventures as well as a large number of high-net worth individuals are investors, who have benefited from the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
Last May, Intamac raised some £2.1m from investors, most of which were repeat investors who have supported several rounds. This brought total investment in the business to £14.5m.
A key attraction for investors is the company’s continuous innovation, and the potential revenue opportunities this opens.
Helping the company to stay ahead of the trend is De Montfort University. Intamac has benefited from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership funded by Innovate UK, where the company received a placement from one of De Montfort’s technical teams.
“The placement was extremely useful and helped develop a project that is now a core asset for us,” says Perez. “We hadn’t foreseen just how valuable the placement would be for us. It has been pivotal in the project’s development.”
As demand for IoT and connected devices continues to grow fast, so will Intamac. Turnover in the last year has grown by 60 per cent, and Perez is confident about the company’s future.
“We’ve been through 14 years of survival and reinvention. We’ve been very innovative and have driven the market into these areas – but we’re now on the cusp of something very exciting. We’re looking forward to a very successful next few years,” he concludes.